The salon industry is one of many that regularly employ front desk receptionists to take calls and manage appointments. If you own a beauty salon or barber shop or are in the process of opening one, you’re probably concerned about cutting costs wherever possible without sacrificing the quality of your services.

You might have assumed that hiring a receptionist is the only way to consistently manage your calls and appointments – the cornerstones of your business.

In a way, you’d be right. Managing your own appointments and answering calls yourself (as well as having your other stylists answer their own calls) is undeniably an inefficient way to run your salon.

If going without a receptionist isn’t a smart decision for salon owners to make, but hiring one is too expensive to make financial sense right now, what is the solution? We’ll outline how you can avoid this conundrum.

Can a beauty salon survive without a receptionist?

The idea of a receptionist-less beauty salon brings up some important questions. We’ll go into more detail below.

Without a receptionist, who will greet your customers?

Salons have an interesting advantage that many other businesses that typically employ receptionists may not – most salons have an open design that allows customers to enter without requiring them to be “buzzed in” or directed to the proper hallway or room number. In a salon setting, customers can walk in, take a seat in the waiting area at the front of the salon, and simply wait for the stylist to signal them over or lead them to their chair without ever thinking, “This place needs a receptionist.”

So, to answer the question of who will greet your customers if you don’t have a receptionist – anyone in the salon can. It only takes seconds to call out a friendly hello when someone enters and invite them to take a seat in the waiting area.

Without a receptionist, who will answer the phone and manage appointments?

If you don’t have a receptionist, you’ll be on phone duty. Even if you and your stylists share the duty by answering calls whenever one of you isn’t busy (answering the phone is tough when you’re elbows deep in shampoo), every second spent on the phone acting as your own receptionist is time stolen from your work.

It’s also a disorganized arrangement.

Think of this scenario: The phone rings in your salon and there are 4 stylists working, all busy at the moment. Everyone glances around, waiting for one of the other stylists to stop what they’re doing and answer the phone. By this time, the phone has rung 5 or 6 times. Finally, you shut off your blow dryer and hurriedly grab the phone to answer, only to realize the caller just hung up.

Without a receptionist, this would be your situation every day. We think that’s frustrating and that’s one of the reasons we started this business. If you’re not familiar with Conversational, we offer virtual receptionist and call answering services for small businesses, like salons and doctor’s offices.

Our solution to the receptionist conundrum (they’re too expensive to hire, but too valuable to forgo) is simple:

  1. Go to our virtual receptionist plans and pricing page here
  2. Select one of our three monthly plan options (We offer tiered pricing & no contracts so every business can afford to use our receptionists without locking themselves into a plan)
  3. Take advantage of our limited time free trial offer to give your new virtual receptionist a test drive
  4. Give your virtual receptionist instructions on greeting callers, what appointment scheduling software you use, who and what number to transfer calls to, your cancellation process, etc.
  5. Focus on your work while your virtual receptionist fields all the calls and either books an appointment, cancels an appointment, transfers them to the appropriate person, or delivers basic business information like business hours, stylist names and services, etc.

Yes, a beauty salon can survive without a traditional receptionist – in fact, it can thrive. But skipping a receptionist altogether isn’t the way to make your salon thrive. Instead, opt for a virtual receptionist that costs around $5/day and aptly handles your calls and appointments. Your clients will thank you!